Competing in a tough Class 3A regional at Scott City, the Thomas More Prep-Marian track and field team turned in a strong showing, qualifying 17 for this weekend’s State Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Cessna Stadium.
Now, TMP coach James Harris wants to make sure his athletes soak up the state experience.
“That’s one of the coolest experiences they’ll ever get,” Harris said. “I try to take them down Thursday just to let them walk around and see the stadium and have them visualize what it’s like with twenty thousand spectators in the stands.
“I’ve been to a lot of track meets in my life, and state track and field in Kansas is by far one of the coolest experiences. I tell them there’s going to be a lot of nerves and a lot of adrenaline — just go out and compete and do something special.”
The TMP-Marian girls will send 11 to Wichita with the Monarchs boys qualifying six. TMP will also take a few other alternates for relays.
“I was really excited to get all of those kids in,” Harris said.
TMP senior Ethan Lang was the regional champ in the 400-meter dash, winning in 51.81. He took second in the 200 with a 23.15.
“Ethan’s just a competitor,” Harris said. “He’s got a great work ethic and no matter what happens, I know he’s going to give it his best.”
Jenna Romme won the girls’ high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches, and the Monarchs also qualified Kassidi Yost and Makinsey Schlautman in the event. Yost was second at 5-0 and Schlautman fourth at 4-10.
Paris Wolf made state in the long jump with a fourth-place showing at 16-6 3/4. Abby Rueschoff qualified in the triple jump, taking third at 35-6 3/4.
“Makinsey Schlautman, just to see the emotion after she qualified in the high jump, it was just awesome,” Harris said. “Abby Rueschhoff really stepped up in triple jump; she went out and jumped extremely well.”
Jared Mayers was the regional champ in the boys high jump at 6 feet.
TMP’s Sasha Wasinger was second to Phillipsburg’s Ashley Babcock in the shot put at regionals with a throw of 36-4.25.
The girls 3,200-meter relay team (Emilee Lane, Julia Werth, Emily Schippers and Adell Riedel) took second with a 10:11.08. The 1,600 relay team (M.K. Dwyer, Schippers, Riedel and Yost) took third.
The boys 3,200-meter relay team (Lucas Lang, Blayne Riedel, Sheldon Weber and Ethan Lang) placed third at regionals with a 8:35.96. The 1,600 relay team of Lance Lang, Riedel, Lucas Lang and Ethan Lang also took third in 3:31.99.
“Our boys four by four has competed extremely hard all year long,” Harris said. “We’ve got a freshman, a sophomore, a junior and a senior on there, so I didn’t know what to expect. But they came out and they competed extremely well.”
Sheldon Weber earned a state spot in the 1,600 (4:51.26) and 3,200 (10:56.44), taking fourth in both events.
Harris said he hopes the state atmosphere can bring out the best in the Monarchs.
“This is the last meet of the season, and for some of them it’s the last meet of their careers,” Harris said. “Hopefully we can go out on a good note.”
Check Friday’s edition for a state preview on the Hays High track and field team, which is sending eight athletes to Wichita.